Shells and Spinach

Shells and Spinach

One of my favorite weeknight meals is shells and spinach.  It is super easy to make and a delicious combination of spinach and feta cheese.  It also freezes very well, and is great in a pinch.  My kids love it, and it’s a great alternative to macaroni and cheese.  I was thankful this week to have some on hand, when my son was sick.  I was tired, and thrilled to be able to grab a healthy meal out of my freezer.  I am sharing this again for all of my new readers. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

Shells and Spinach

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 oz. fresh spinach
  • 1 lb. package shells pasta (the bite-sized ones)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ lb. feta cheese (add more for a cheesier dish)
  • Start the spinach and pasta water at the same time.
  • Steam the spinach (or your preferred cooking method) until fork tender over medium heat. It usually takes about 30 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta separately according to package directions. When the pasta is done, strain and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • When the spinach is ready, strain it and ensure most of the water is squeezed out. Puree it with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • Once the spinach is pureed and the shells have been tossed with olive oil, mix the spinach puree with the pasta. Continue mixing until the spinach covers all the shells.
  • At this point, you can proceed 2 different ways.
  • Option 1: If you are serving the entire amount, crumble the feta cheese and mix well. Place on the stove top over medium heat and heat through. Serve immediately.
  • Option 2: Portion out only what you will serve right then and crumble feta cheese and mix together (amount based on how many shells you are using). Place the rest in the fridge (will keep for 2-3 days) or freezer for longer storage (portion it out first). When you remove the remainder from the fridge, toss with a little olive oil and salt and heat through. Then add the crumbled feta and stir until incorporated and the cheese is warm. If frozen, defrost first and follow the same directions. Enjoy!
  • Note: I am fairly conservative with the salt, because the feta cheese is so salty. After you add the feta, taste it and add more salt to taste.
  • Notes

    #1 This makes great homemade frozen food. Freeze in portions in a freezer safe container (I prefer to not mix in the feta before freezing). Remove from the freezer, defrost, and add a little olive oil and feta cheese and enjoy!

    #2 If you find spinach on sale or have a bunch coming out of your garden, go ahead and cook and puree it (according to recipe) and freeze it in freezer safe containers. Remove when you want to make shells and spinach and just defrost and toss with the pasta.

    Try my Spinach Pesto.  It is another great way to get spinach in your diet!

    spinach pesto foodgawker6

    For another great spinach and feta cheese combination, try my Spinach and Feta Biscuits!
    Feta and Spinach Biscuits

    I am excited to take my shells and spinach to Fiesta Friday #124 (the co-hosts this week are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons) and Throwback Thursday #43!

    Shells and Spinach

    35 Responses to“Shells and Spinach”

    1. 06/16/2016 at 9:52 am #

      What a great idea for a quick weeknight dinner Antonia! I was thinking that it would be a great alternative to macaroni and cheese too 🙂 And a good way to sneak in vegetables for little ones!

      • Zoale.com
        06/16/2016 at 4:57 pm #

        Thank you Heather! I agree, it is a great way to get veggies in 😀

    2. 06/16/2016 at 6:21 pm #

      This looks and sounds lovely! I love simple and something everyone will like! yumm

      • Zoale.com
        06/17/2016 at 5:17 pm #

        Thank you Lynn! It is always a popular dish 😀

        • 06/17/2016 at 5:44 pm #

          I can imagine, it looks yummy!

        • Zoale.com
          06/17/2016 at 6:11 pm #

          Thanks! You can’t beat the feta cheese and spinach combo!

        • 06/17/2016 at 6:24 pm #

          yes for sure!

        • Zoale.com
          06/17/2016 at 10:59 pm #

          🙂

    3. 06/17/2016 at 9:31 am #

      I want this right away! 🙂

      • Zoale.com
        06/17/2016 at 5:14 pm #

        Haha, I wish I could give you some 😀 Thanks!

    4. 06/19/2016 at 5:00 pm #

      I really love this and especially love it when people share their “go-to” meals. I’ll give this a try this week. Thank you for bringing it to Fiesta Friday.

      • Zoale.com
        06/21/2016 at 9:51 pm #

        Thank you Lindy! I hope you enjoy it! Have a great rest of your week 😀

    5. 06/19/2016 at 10:55 pm #

      This pasta sounds delicious! I love basil pesto and the idea of using spinach is a great choice.

      • Zoale.com
        06/21/2016 at 9:52 pm #

        Thank you Julie! I love adding spinach to my kids’ meals whenever I can 😀 I hope you are having a nice start to your week!

    6. 06/20/2016 at 1:17 pm #

      This looks very tasty. 🙂 I’m hungry right now and really wish I had in the ingredients I’d need to make it!

      • Zoale.com
        06/21/2016 at 9:57 pm #

        Thank you so much Louise! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week 😀

    7. 06/21/2016 at 8:45 am #

      What a wonderful simple recipe and bonus that the kids love it. Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday. Pinned!

      • Zoale.com
        06/21/2016 at 10:03 pm #

        Thank you Quinn! I hope your week is getting off to a great start!

    8. 06/21/2016 at 9:01 pm #

      Looks very healthy and delicious.

      • Zoale.com
        06/21/2016 at 10:06 pm #

        Thank you Liz 😀 Have a great rest of your week!

    9. 06/21/2016 at 11:38 pm #

      Gosh this looks delish! I could inhale a big bowl right now 🙂

      • Zoale.com
        06/22/2016 at 10:57 pm #

        Thank you so much! I wish I could give you some 😀 Have a wonderful rest of your week!

    10. 06/22/2016 at 3:09 am #

      This looks lovely! Too bad I’m in a houseful of spinach haters!! Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!

      Mollie

      • Zoale.com
        06/22/2016 at 10:58 pm #

        Thanks Mollie! My husband used to be one too, before he had spinach pie. Now he loves it 😉 Thank you for hosting!

    11. 06/22/2016 at 10:27 am #

      This pasta looks delicious and healthy with spinach…Will definitely try this …..

      • Zoale.com
        06/22/2016 at 10:56 pm #

        Thank you Swapna! I hope you enjoy it 😀 Have a great rest of your week!

    12. 07/04/2016 at 4:11 am #

      A simple yet very tasty pasta dish! I can use my home-grown New Zealand spinach in here! Yummm!

      • Zoale.com
        07/06/2016 at 9:52 pm #

        Home-grown spinach is the best! Thank you Sophie!

    13. 07/16/2016 at 12:06 pm #

      I love it! Simple ingredients I usually have on hand… and who doesn’t love spinach and Feta?

      • Zoale.com
        07/17/2016 at 11:00 am #

        Thanks Sadie! I hope you get a chance to try it 😀

    14. 07/23/2016 at 2:31 pm #

      I would really enjoy this!! Bravo Antonia.

      • Zoale.com
        07/23/2016 at 3:09 pm #

        Thanks Krystina 🙂 I love anything with olive oil, feta, and spinach!

        • 07/23/2016 at 10:33 pm #

          Kai ego!! 🙂

        • Zoale.com
          07/23/2016 at 10:39 pm #

          😀

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